Saturday, May 02, 2015

Hey, federal political parties - this is how it's done.

In three days Albertans go to the polls. Here's how that's looking as of yesterday according to 308 :

May 5 Update : 308 has updated Vote and Seat Projections - now even higher for NDP.
    and the results :

As part of his election platform, Calgary-Klein Green Party candidate Noel Keough made a great case for raising corporate taxes in Alberta - the lowest in the country - by just 2% in order to raise $12-billion annually for Alberta's decimated public coffers : 

An environmental design prof at the University of Calgary, he also put forward solid policy on fossil fuels and advocates a PropRep voting system replacing first-past-the post - the better to more fairly represent Albertans.

But then he looked at the very close polling for his ridingand at an all-candidates debate in Calgary two days ago, Keough announced his decision to step out of the race and support his NDP rival rather than split the vote. Notable that he referred to this decision as a party decision. Keough : [bold:mine]
"So, with a heavy heart, but a firm conviction in my decision I am stepping out of the race immediately and putting my full support behind the New Democratic Party and their candidate Craig Coolihan. The policies of the NDP are not in perfect alignment with The Green Party but they are the most closely aligned. A win for the NDP in Calgary-Klein will advance Green principles and will make Alberta a better place to live."
Putting your constituency and province ahead of the party system - what a novel idea.
People have said the Greens couldn't have won the seat anyway. Not the point. Keough did the one thing he could within his power to help voters avoid splitting the vote by trying to guess how they should vote strategically.

Well, federal NDP, Libs, and Greens? We're waiting for a sign you plan to follow Keough's example here.

As Canadian Cynic observed : "forget strategic voting, here's strategic candidacy."

As for the rest of us, support for Prop Rep should be the line-in-the-sand litmus test for whether we support a local candidate.  Between election fraud and the Stephen Harper the Economist's disastrously incompetent corporate-driven fiscal policies, we just can't afford another unrestrained and poisonous first-past-the-post 24% minority misrule. 

FairVoteCanada is soliciting citizens in all ridings across Canada to get local candidates of all parties to sign a pledge to support PropRep so we'll know who we can afford to vote for before the next election. Go. Sign up to do it.

Meanwhile, a Globe and Mail editorial from the very paper which has endorsed Harper in every election since 2006 is now shilling for Prentice : For Alberta, Jim Prentice is the best choice.

I only mention this entirely unsurprising endorsement so you can enjoy the thorough shellacking they get for it in comments.

The Edmonton Journal editorial: 
In this election, we are picking a CEO for the province makes the same mistake and gets a similar shellacking.

And then there's the threat from five CEOs in the Edmonton Sun : Corporate business leaders warn of risks to Alberta NDP government : "We won't make donations to charities."
Think the commenters under that threat aren't pissed?
"In response, NDP leader Rachel Notley pointed out the donations of the five businessmen to the PCs in the past five years have topped $86,000 collectively."
ObligaTory shot of then Minister Jim Prentice with PMO fraudster and "special adviser to Minister Prentice" Bruce Carson above.


Anonymous said...

The Globe and Mail isn't a real newspaper any more, Alison.

It's Philip Crawley's jack off rag and everyone who works there are his wrists and hands.


Purple library guy said...

I've noticed something peculiar lately. In the Globe, the articles tend to be right wing while the comments are actually centrist to maybe even trending left. Meanwhile, in the Toronto Star, the articles are centrist or even trending left, and then the comments will be full of right wing foaming.
I don't get it.

MyPetGloat said...

I no longer trust any poll after the BC election.

Christy Clark's own pollster told her she was on track to win a majority but this was never revealed to voters until after the election. Turns out they were right and every pollster whose results were public was wrong. The "landslide NDP" message encouraged complacency in voters who assumed the election was in the bag and didn't bother showing up.

Alison said...

Gloat : Yes to polls are mostly just an infotainment snapshot of a few hundred people's presumed honest opinion, but something is happening here when biz CEO's hold a presser to threaten Albertans if they don't vote for the party they've been funding. More worried 1)it won't translate into seats and 2)younger voters won't actually start voting no matter what they endorse intellectually.

Library Guy : People are pissed off/scared and gravitate out of their habitual bubble media to where they know the fight will be?
I dunno. I do know people posting under these columns are well-informed and furious.

Dana : I don't know why I bother blogging when I could just call you up every day and post Dana's Daily Drollery instead. Hoping all's well with you, you old bastard ;-)

I kinda rambled on a bit in this post but bottom line is we have to strongly convey to candidates we won't even consider voting for them if they can't vouch for making the same call Noel Keough did when it counted.

Dana said...

Yes, indeedy do, all is well with this old bastard.

Dana's Daily Drolleries are actually becoming somewhat rarer these days as rage and senility incandesce in simultaneous resplendence.

I sometimes find myself daydreaming of Thomas Mulcair being buggered by Stephen Harper's cat while the demi-man himself plays Stardust on the bagpipes and Justin Trudeau whirls around the room in a kilt made of Jesuitical hair shirts.

I think I've been possessed by the spirit of William Burroughs.

Hope and despair have both been revealed as imposters and been abandoned.

I survive on schadenfreude. I thrive on it.

That and weak, milky tea with graham crackers.

But I digress...


ron wilton said...

The BC election was 'turned around' by the last minute interventions of harper operatives like Dimitri Soudas, Ken Boessenkool, Sara McIntyre, and others sent by harper to do what they are skilled at doing in subverting voter intentions and preferences.

If only BC was as important to the rest of Canada as Alberta seems to be, we would have exposed the scoundrels sooner and prevented much of their dirty tricks, but I am sure harper has similar operatives behind the curtains in Alberta as well.

West End Bob said...

Dana, ye Olde Bastard, it's good to see you out-and-about-again-online! Personally, I've missed your spot-on commentary - not to mention your personal magnetism! ;-)

Methinks it's WAY past time for a Denman St. pizza and beer gathering . . . .

Dana said...

Hiya Bob.

Actually I've been feeling like I have a renewing sense of wanting to blog again.

I'm not on the blogroll at the Beav any more so I've been playing with possible blog names.

Finally settled on one so keep an eye out for Deacon Jester on blogspot.

Can't say for certain but I can say for uncertain. And that's more than what I could say last year...

Alison said...

Dana: Can't get Google to accept your old xxxxxdana addy in Beav admin. Got another you can leave me on an old blogpost so only I will see it? Yes, I know you didn't ask for this.

Alison said...

Ron : I think at the very least we can assume deep oil has similar harper operatives behind those Alberta curtains, yes.

Bob : Dana doesn't go over the big bridge unless he's going to the cottage but god, yes, pizza and beer soon.

Dana said...

Pizza and beer?

Sushi and sake?

Pho and whatever would be my choice...

Anonymous said...

" And then there's the threat from five CEOs in the Edmonton Sun : Corporate business leaders warn of risks to Alberta NDP government : "We won't make donations to charities." "

I think comments like that could actually hurt the PCs. Some people might see that and it could just solidify their opinion that things are corrupt and it's time for change. It really reads like a bunch of rich guys are trying to help out the ruling party, who in turn has probably helped them out.

Cocoabean said...

Yeah...if we just took enough from anyone with any savings or wealth, or from anyone dirty enough to make a "profit", we could fund a nirvana of government forever!!!

The idea of shrinking government, of retrenching, "austerity" or of cutting back so as to free up money for PEOPLE never occurs, does it?

scotty on denman said...

It's imprudent to be drawing lines in the sand. Without question the priority is to get rid of the Harper Conservatives, therefore the thing to do is avoid splitting the non-Conservative vote; that means voting for the candidate most likely to beat the Conservative in that riding, irrespective of that candidate's commitment to implementing proportional representation.

Do you really mean to say you would vote for anyone other than the candidate most likely to beat the Conservative purely on whether they support pro-rep to some or any degree? Every candidate will refer any request (maybe a little more polite than a line in the sand) to implement pro-rep to his or her respective party platform---they can't make anything more than a commitment to implement the party platform, which in the case of the two bigger opposition parties makes them more committed to referendum than to outright implementation. Anyway, the only way to do that (fulfil a commitment to implement pro-rep in the next mandate) would be to make this election a virtual referendum on pro-rep which, naturally, would divert attention away from what is clearly the main goal: getting Harper out.

There are more people who want Harper out than want pro-rep; some are anti-pro-rep, some not sure because there's not enough detail as to which pro-rep system, how it's to be ratified, etc. Risking their support for getting rid of the Conservatives is inadvisable. I can imagine the Green candidate being the only one to make an emphatic commitment to pro-rep---at least one more emphatic than the NDP or Liberal candidate in that riding--- potentially taking votes away from whichever is the most likely candidate to beat the Conservative and probably splitting the vote like's happened so many times before where the Green candidate had virtually no chance of winning---and often defaulting the riding to the Conservative candidate who has no commitment to either pro-rep or any of the Greens' more substantive environmental policies.

What I would prefer is a strong commitment to working toward pro-rep from whichever Green candidate has the best chance over the other riding contestants of beating the Conservative in any particular riding. With the odds that this will be a hung parliament, there are too many complexities around organizing strategic voting, and way too many speculations about coalitions or balances of power to complicate issues further with pro-rep ultimatums that might have the adverse effect of letting Harper win another government.

Remember, we don't want ANY Conservative government---not a majority, not a minority, not even one without Harper leading it. That's gotta trump all else for the moment.

Anonymous said...

Holly Stick here

Yee-hee-hee, Alberta just pulled one of its big switcheroos! I'm so glad the NDP got its turn! Things are going to be interesting here.

Hopefully the rightwinger whining won't drown out the lefties' chortling.

Lots of good punditry, and some less good. I think it's true that there are connections between the Nenshi & Iveson wins as mayors and this one.

Some argue that people voted against the PCs, not for the NDP; maybe true for some, but I think many did vote for the NDP. To me that argument has a slight whiff of "Well, she must have slept her way to the top."

But we're feeling happy and generous right now, the good guys won for a change; and my vote counted, which is a rare thing.

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